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J Clin Microbiol. 2018 Feb 22;56(3). pii: e01384-17. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01384-17. Print 2018 Mar.

Zoonotic Transfer of Clostridium difficile Harboring Antimicrobial Resistance between Farm Animals and Humans.

Author information

1
Section Experimental Bacteriology, Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands.
2
Host-Microbiota Interactions Laboratory, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, United Kingdom.
3
Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.
4
Department of Molecular and Translational Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.
5
Cardiff School of Biosciences, Sir Martin Evans Building, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
6
Pathogen Genomics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, United Kingdom.
7
Public Health Wales, Microbiology, Wales, United Kingdom.
8
Institute of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
9
Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA.
10
Department of Pathobiology, Canada Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada.
11
Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit (AGES), Vienna, Austria.
12
Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia.
13
National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Food, Maribor, Slovenia.
14
Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, London, United Kingdom.
15
Department of Microbiology, PathWest Laboratory Medicine, Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, Western Australia, Australia.
16
Microbiology & Immunology, School of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, The University of Western Australia, Western Australia, Australia.
17
Host-Microbiota Interactions Laboratory, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, United Kingdom tl2@sanger.ac.uk.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

The emergence of Clostridium difficile as a significant human diarrheal pathogen is associated with the production of highly transmissible spores and the acquisition of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) and virulence factors. Unlike the hospital-associated C. difficile RT027 lineage, the community-associated C. difficile RT078 lineage is isolated from both humans and farm animals; however, the geographical population structure and transmission networks remain unknown. Here, we applied whole-genome phylogenetic analysis of 248 C. difficile RT078 strains from 22 countries. Our results demonstrate limited geographical clustering for C. difficile RT078 and extensive coclustering of human and animal strains, thereby revealing a highly linked intercontinental transmission network between humans and animals. Comparative whole-genome analysis reveals indistinguishable accessory genomes between human and animal strains and a variety of antimicrobial resistance genes in the pangenome of C. difficile RT078. Thus, bidirectional spread of C. difficile RT078 between farm animals and humans may represent an unappreciated route disseminating antimicrobial resistance genes between humans and animals. These results highlight the importance of the "One Health" concept to monitor infectious disease emergence and the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance genes.

KEYWORDS:

Clostridium difficile; One Health concept; RT078; accessory genome; antibiotic resistance; intercontinental transmission; interhost transmission

PMID:
29237792
PMCID:
PMC5824051
DOI:
10.1128/JCM.01384-17
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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